Malmö shooter set to face murder charges

The 40-year-old man believed to be behind a string of shootings in Malmö in southern Sweden is to be formally charged on Monday for three murders and a slew of attempted murders after having spent 18 months on remand.

Peter Mangs, who has passed two birthdays in police custody since being arrested on November 6th 2010, denies charges that he is the man behind the string of shootings which spread fear among Malmö residents throughout 2010.

Mangs will face court on Monday to hear the charges he is set to face when Malmö district court convenes to try his case a week later.

The police investigation into the case has extended to a reported 7,500 pages – a file which will become a public document this week.

Periodic reports emerging from the police investigation since Mangs’ arrest have added further cases to the charge sheet and he is now expected to face charges relating to more than 20 cases of murder or attempted murder.

Police statements in October 2010 indicating that they were investigating whether a lone shooter with a racist motive was behind a string of attacks dating as far back as 2003 led to the suspect being compared to the “Laser Man” case of the early 1990s.

Laser Man was the nickname given to John Ausonius, who shot 11 people of immigrant origin, killing one, around Stockholm from August 1991 to January 1992.

Ausonius, who got his nickname by initially using a rifle equipped with a laser sight, was sentenced to life behind bars in 1994 and remains in prison.

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Swedish sniper wanted to ignite ‘gang warfare’

Convicted Swedish sniper Peter Mangs came close to confessing to another two murders on Tuesday, commenting on the string of attacks he had denied in court but now says were meant to create tensions in Sweden's multicultural city.

Swedish sniper wanted to ignite 'gang warfare'

Mangs, who was jailed last year in Malmö, southern Sweden, told the regional Sydsvenskan newspaper on Tuesday that his goal with the series of shootings that terrorized the city was to incited gang warfare. On Monday, he confirmed that he had killed 20-year-old Trez West Persson.

The interview also contained quotes that came close to a confession to two further murders, after telling the paper’s reporter on Monday that he had shot Persson and seriously injured her companion, in a parked car in Malmö.

Her companion, Mangs’ intended target, survived and gave evidence at the trial in Malmö. His short hair revealed a long scar snaking across his skull, the physical reminder of the attack which he told court had altered his life for ever.

Mangs told the paper that the man did not look “like a criminal”, rather that the circumstances pointed to him being a lawbreaker, and that this was enough for the serial killer to feel the need to strike.

“It was a hunt! When the right opportunity presented itself, one that filled all the right criteria, then the idea was to do it,” he said.

On Tuesday, Mangs continued his saga by telling Sydsvenskan that he had engaged in target practice across the entire city at least a hundred times.

Mangs was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for two murders and five attempted murders. In April, he was convicted of another three attempted murders by the Malmö appeals court (hovrätten). The Supreme Court denied his lawyers a chance to appeal.

Mangs was also charged with killing two men aged 23 and 66, in 2003, as well as the 20-year-old Swedish woman in 2009.

As many of his victims had immigrant backgrounds, the attacks spread fear in Sweden’s most multicultural city before Mangs was apprehended by the police. Swedish police grappled with his motives, as Mangs had no clear cut ideological profile, but has spoken about his disdain for criminals.

He was also charged with a slew of attempted murders in which he fired numerous shots with his Glock 19 pistol at homes, businesses and cars as well as out in the open, seriously injuring a number of people and coming close to killing many others.

The Swedish prosecutor who headed the case against him, Solveig Wollstad, said on Monday that the confession may help Persson’s family.

TT/The Local/at

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